"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-André Gide

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Understanding Tides (Two-Part Video)

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what is a video worth? Time. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated to make and post these videos (was originally only supposed to be one video, but who knew YouTube has a length upload limit?) after shooting the footage, editing, and then finally uploading them.

I tried to keep the video as short as possible while still including all the information that I wanted to include, and I failed miserably at making it short and including everything I wanted to talk about. So, when you have some time to burn at work or while waiting for this weather to clear up take a look at these videos. Be forewarned that you may be bored to death, but hopefully you will take a thing or two out of this tirade that will help you become a better angler or at least catch more fish.

Furthermore, if you have any tide links that you like to use that are not mentioned feel free to share them.

I use this tidal site the most when I'm trying to decide when and where I want to fish. It gives both predicted and observed/actual tide levels.

I use this site when I want to get a more detailed picture of what the tides are doing throughout the day. I also use this website to see tidal trends over longer periods of time.

This website has a great animation of how the tides move in and out of our bay system.

Although I didn't mention it in the video I also use this tide cam to see what the tide is doing, especially if I'm going to be fishing anywhere around this area.

Here's another site I have saved that has tables for many places along the Texas Coast.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Fly Tying

Here's a video I made on how to tie an East Cut Grass Shrimp. I'm a novice fly-tyer, so any pointers on what I can improve on will be greatly appreciated.

White Grass Shrimp

Some old pictures of flies I tied in the past...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Random Summer Fishing Pics

A few pictures from the last few weeks of fishing. All the photos of me are courtesy of my teammate Chris McCleod.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fly Rod Redfish

I went fishing this morning with the intention of catching some more redfish on the fly rod. I fished the marsh figuring that with the low tide bottoming out around first light the redfish would be stacked up in the "deeper" areas. When I say "deeper" I mean that in relative terms. I was fishing water that was at most 1' deep, while the surrounding areas had only a few inches of water.

The itinerary for the morning was to cover water and look for active fish. I wanted to increase my odds of catching fish on the fly rod, so didn’t want to waste time trying to get inactive fish bite. I decided only to stop and cast if I saw tails, backs, or schools of redfish. I found only one school in the couple of hours I fished this morning but I did see quite a few “submarines” (see video).

With the low tides this morning I saw several of these "submarines" crusing the shorelines looking for food...

In the video below I saw backing redfish deep in the grass and since I had not caught a fish up till this point I decided to use the baitcaster and soft plastic combo to try to entice it to eat. Well, I unequivocally failed from all standpoints. I had a hard time trying to get my lure out in front of this fish because most of the time it was far back in the spartina grass. I was using an open hook 1/8oz jighead and every time I tried getting my lure close I got caught up in the grass. I should have switch to a screwlock weedless jighead but became overly excited when I saw this fish, and I was being stubborn.

The few times the fish did come out into an open pocket my lure was hung the grass, so I had to sit there and wait until the fish swam past where my lure was stuck in the grass before I ripped it out. In the video you can also see when I got my lure entangled in the grass so bad that I had to break the line to prevent from spooking this fish. After breaking off, this fish started swimming straight at me. I had no time to tie on a new lure and the only other rod I had with me was my fly rod, so I gave it a shot. The fish spook slightly off the shoreline and surfaced within feet of my kayak. I put two casts in front of the fish before it decided that it didn’t like what I was offering and spooked off for good.

Comedy of Errors

About ten yards down the shoreline I spotted another fish swimming straight at me. With only the fly rod rigged, I decided to give it another shot. I put the fly right on the fish’s nose and he ate it. My biggest redfish on the fly rod to date, a 24” 4.5lb fish.

I was using an East Cut Grass Shrimp in white (http://www.eastcut.com/grassShrimp.php). I love this fly because it imitates a shrimp beautifully. The main food source redfish forage on in a majority of the marshes I fish in is small-sized shrimp. It also sinks slowly, which makes it a great lure for fishing very shallow in the marsh. I like to throw white-colored baits when sight fishing, but sometimes in our dirty water around Galveston bright colors like chartreuse work well.

It also simple and very easy to tie. When I get a chance in the next few days, I’m going to pull out the vise and tie a bunch of them in various colors. I’ll videotape it and post it online, so everyone can see how easy it is to tie. I’m an extremely novice fly-fisherman and fly-tyer, so if I can tie it anybody can.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

School of Redfish Under The Birds

Shot some video of me and Chris' outing this morning trying to get some redfish on the fly rod. Both of us were unsuccessful at catching one on the fly. Chris must still have his bad new hook mojo because he's still having a hard time keeping fish hooked up. Even though it was slow this morning, we did manage to catch a few fish but none captured on video.

Hope you enjoy...

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Redfish on the Fly

Well, it finally happened this morning. I caught my first redfish on my fly rod that I've had for over three years, and a slot red at that. I've caught a bunch of fish both fresh and saltwater on the fly rod but never a redfish. But I've really haven't give the "buggy-whip" much attention until recently. One of my goals this year was to become more proficient with fly tackle and catch a redfish on the fly. I've accomplished one of those feats but it's still going to take a lot of practice for me to become skilled at the art of fly-fishing.

First red on the fly...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tournament Winner

Me and Greg hit the marsh this morning in search of bronze bruisers. We were rewarded after wasting a few hours and much effort waiting for the tide to rise high enough for us to fish our desired area. We landed a few tournament quality redfish on Rapala Skitterwalks around shallow patches of oysters. Our two biggest fish weighed-in at over 15lbs.

Big fish of the day...